N&R Premier League Final Table – part 1
Ready’s lead after week 41 was enough to give him his 4th N&R FL title following the FA Cup Final on Saturday. Both Ready and Alastair Bigg’s teams were similarly matched for the last game except Ready had Welbeck, and Alastair had Alonso, and the final week ended with Keith scoring 24 and Alastair 23, thus taking the gap at the top of the table to 12 points and giving Ready the 2016/17 title.
The two managers dominated the N&R Premier League this season with Ready top of 19 weeks and Alastair for 18 of the 42-week season.
Ready was top in week’s 2 and 3 taking over from early leader Lee Baughan. Ready dropped to 2nd for week’s 5 and 6 with Alastair top in week 5 and Ben Guarino taking top spot in week 6, but Ready was back on top in week 7 and stayed there through until Christmas.
Alastair had been in and around the top 6 and sat on Ready’s heels for many weeks during November and December but overtook him in week 21 and then through the winter months built a lead, which was as much as 73 points in week 27. Both managers used their transfers timely and methodically both having to work around injuries to key players.
As spring rolled around Ready started to close the gap on Alastair and it was down to 6 points in week 35 as these two moved well clear of a chasing pack led by Jordan Perry.
Ready regained the lead in week 37 but then a week later both managers were level on 1,620 points and we were on for one of our closest ever finishes to an N&R FL season.
Ready opened up a 2 point lead in week 39 but in week 40 Alastair took top spot and with just one week to go of the Premier League season, it looked as if we may be engraving a new name on the coveted N&R FL Championship trophy.
But, no one expected a crazy goal-ridden last day of the PL season, Spurs alone scoring 13 goals in that week 41, and Ready hit over a century of points, crucially 18 more than Alastair and hit the top again and that was where he stayed. Congratulations to both managers on a terrific season, Ready for using all of his experience to bring the title home but also Alastair out in New York, who in any other N&R FL season would have been crowned champions with 1,826 points!
N&R Premier League Final Table – part 2
It became a bit of a two horse race the challenge for the 21st N&R Championship title
but below them there were some fantastic shows of fantasy football management.
In the early weeks Lee Baughan, Jordan Perry and Ben Guarino all sat at the summit, and all three continued to challenge with Jordan eventually grabbing 3rd place 21 points ahead of Ben Guarino in 4th. Jordan was in his first PL season and has all the characteristics of a future N&R Champion. One time Francey caretaker manager, Ben was runner up in in 2013/14 and 2014/15 and will no doubt give it another go again next season.
In 5th was one time winner Ricky Wood and another perennial challenger Mark Gregory was 6th. In many years past Mark’s score of 1,651 would have been enough to have won the title, so good were these season’s top managers.
Ricky spent 40 of the 42 weeks in the top 8 but Mark, up until week 41 had hardly featured. There were some telling transfer decisions from Mark that earned him his 6th spot.
In a tie for 7th were Lee Baughan and Lee Blackman. Sweaty just missed relegation last season but started this one well. And then after hanging around mid table he put together an excellent last 2 months to push himself into the prize money.
Lee Blackman spent the first 2 months in relegation trouble and again in week 16, and as recent as week 29, when after a super run of form hurtled him up the league table. In fact Lee’s first appearance in the top 8 was only 5 weeks ago and he clung on to collect £67.50.
Tom Lamb was promoted last season and had a real go. He will be gutted to miss out on a top 8 spot after spending 14 of the last 17 weeks in it. Tom fell just 2 points short.
Another previous Champ Barry Plummer for the longest time looked like a relegation cert and probably if we played another 4 weeks Bazza would have kept climbing the table. Barry ended up in 10th, 6 points ahead of Tim Harris, who was 4th last season. Tim started slow but got himself as high as 3rd in weeks 34 and 35, but ran out of steam.
Another ex-champ Ryan Saveall had a mixed campaign. Poor start, then a good run in October, then a dally with the drop again in December before moving back into the top 8 in February. In March and April he looked good for some prize money but fell again, although a rasping MoW week in week 41 helped Sav to finish 12th.
Matt Pini was 6th last year and this year 13th. He had his moments good and bad but ended safely in mid-table obscurity. Steve Black is still the only manager outside of the UK to have won the N&R FL title and he also had a non-descript season ending in 14th.
Luke Patey toyed a bit with the drop but was 15th as did Will Jackson, but both ended the season comfortably safe. Neil Bixby came the closest to the drop finishing just 4 points from safety.
Both Jason Syrett and Simon Ward will be disappointed in their relegation as both played many weeks at the top end of the table. Neil Addington was 8th last season but this time finished 20th and will drop to the Championship. Richard Nathan spent all 42 weeks in the drop zone but improved a lot towards the end but ran out of weeks.
Steve Merchant was 5th last season but a year later drops to the Championship as does shockingly last season’s 20th N&R FL Champion Graham Ward, who despite how hard he tried could just not repeat last season’s outstanding display. Both of the Ward bro’s relegated then.
Old N&R timer Danny Rose was 2nd in week 3 and fell to the grey zone in week 5 and never recovered. Likewise his partner Peter Godfrey also falls to the 2nd tier, for the first time!
Another surprise was seeing George Watson struggle. He ran away with the Championship last season hitting 1,815 points. This year he scored over 400 points less and goes back to whence he came.
James Stiff, Michelle Fudge and Max King all lived the entire 42 weeks in the grey zone and fall to the Championship. Dan Weeks who came up last year fell well short and Geoff McCormick who finished 10th last season took the wooden spoon.
Interestingly and proving how hard the N&R Premier League has become, 9 of the 15 manager’s that came up last year went back down again.
For the 4th time in 21 years Ready became the Nobby & Ready Fantasy Football League Champion and adds his name back on a long and distinguished list of managers. Here is the full list of N&R Champs:
21 years of N&R Champions
2016/17 Hannoi Utd – Keith Read
2015/16 The BMS Boomerang – Graham Ward
2014/15 Guinness & Black – Steve Black
2013/14 Brox Banditos – Chris Wright
2012/13 Ollympic Games – Ryan Saveall
2011/12 Woody’s Round Up – Ricky Wood
2010/11 To Elland Back – Rob Munden
2009/10 Hannoi Utd – Keith Read
2008/09 Gooner win league – Neil Reynolds
2007/08 Tally.Wacker.co.uk – Paul Kelleher
2006/07 Savchenko Spurs – Ryan Saveall
2005/06 Ping Pong Yo-Yo – Suzie Syrett
2004/05 Ginger (not so) Athletic – Peter Doyle
2003/04 Chang Noi’s Ham Yai – Keith Read
2002/03 2Infinity & Beyond – Barry Plummer
2001/02 Read ’em & weep – Keith Read
2000/01 Brighton Revenge – Jonathan Poole
1999/00 Cowboys Ride Again – Brett Davey
1998/99 Millennium Buggers – Richard Taylor
1997/98 Flo’s Champs – Peter Godfrey & Danny Rose
1996/97 Flo’s Army – Peter Godfrey & Danny Rose
Once many moons ago Nobby & Ready decided it would be a real wheeze to have a cash prize for the manager who ends up with the 2nd worst score overall. The worst score we presumed would be easy to attain with Dan Keehan a case in point, but the 2nd worst would take a lot more planning and strategy.
Here is how it ended up:
95. Neville White, 1,263 points
97. James Bird, 1,156
97. Geoff McCormick 1,146
98. Ian Kennett, 1,022
99. Dan Keehan 978
Ian easily won and actually occupied 98th place for 32 of the 42 weeks. Well done mate, some prize money after all and £30 will be winging it’s way to you.
Bit of a surprise but yet again Arsene turns up trumps in the FA Cup Final. Many a Spurs fan were rejoicing this victory as it brings the possibility ever closer that the coffin dodger may yet sign a new contract which will almost certainly tip the balance of power in North London to the young Spurs team. The only blot on the landscape is Spurs having to play an entire season of ‘away’ games whilst they wait for the new stadium to be ready for the 2018-19 season.
Not much to trouble the scorer with only Thomas Lamb correctly predicting a 2-1 Arsenal victory and only 3 others predicting an Arsenal win – Gooner hating Ready, Gooner loving Jason Syrett and netball loving Neville White.
Jordan Perry is the overall victor and it was his 5th round haul of 30 points that clawed him in to contention and then consistent scoring in the subsequent rounds edged him to the top.
Well done Jordan and a prize awaits at the end of season prize giving.
Thanks for all of those who entered and religiously ignored Ready’s chaser emails until the very last minute of a Friday afternoon then submitted their predictions – you know who you are!
Here is the Final Benfleet Bet Table looked:
1. Jordan Perry 93 points
2. James Bird 88
3. Lee Horne 85
4. Mark Sterry 82
5. Barry Plummer 81
6. Lee Baughan 80
7. Peter Clark 77
8. Mark Gregory 72
9. George Northover 71
10. Steve Harris 69
11. Thomas Lamb 68
12. John Button 66
13. Ready 65
14= Paul Hodges 64
14= Ian France 64
14= Duncan Gorton 64
17= Richard Richards 63
17= Barry Paull 63
17= Jason Syrett 63
21= Martin Singleton 62
21= Ben Guarino 62
23. Nobby 61
24. Rob Munden 60
25= Mark Dewberry 59
25= Neil Bixby 59
25= Greg Foulger 59
28. Mark Simmons 58
29. Steve Black 56
30. Peter Godfrey 57
31. Andrew Shepherd 54
32. Ken Cobbett 53
33= Ryan Saveall 51
33= William Jackson 51
35. Tim Harris 49
36. David Allen 48
37. Neville White 45
38. William Knowles 44
39. Andrew Mitchell 41
40. John McGowan 38
N&R Championship Final Table
It was week 24 when George Northover took the reigns to lead the N&R Championship and he did not let go as he charged off to the sunset to become the winner and take home the £140 in prize money and will be presented with a nice trophy for his great work. It is George’s second consecutive promotion and he will deserve to mix it with the big boys next season.
George started slowly but made some timely transfers, even holding a couple back until the end. He touched 8th in week 7, was back in the top 8 by week 12 and then slowly moved his way through the pack and hit top spot in week 24 where he stayed. He did get pulled back in the end as Mitesh Patel, John McGowan and Steve Harris threw the kitchen sink at him, but by then his name was already engraved N&R Championship trophy.
Mitesh bounces back to the top tier after a fine season. Just two weeks outside of the promotion zone, and numero uno for 6 weeks in the middle of the season. He lost a bit of form but came back strong to grab 2nd place ahead of John McGowan.
John had never been out of the top flight but struggled visibly early on at this level. But unlike Aston Villa, John did get to grips with it and had a tremendous 2nd half of the season moving from 8th to 6th to 4th and then 3rd for the final weeks and he will be back to where he belongs next season.
Last season’s Conference champ Steve Harris was expected to shine, and he did not disappoint. Just one week outside of the top 8 for Steve and another deserved promotion to test himself against the very best.
Stuart Wolstenholme had a cracking season winning prize money all over the shop. He will be disappointed though not to have given the top spot a better crack. Stu was top for 11 weeks but had a post Christmas stumble. He did use up his subs quite early but had played them well to finish a strong 5th.
In 6th was Neil Reynolds, who knows his way around this league. He’s not bad in the Cup too. Neil after a sluggish start was a regular feature in the top 8 and was top for 3 weeks. He stumbled a bit around April but had saved some transfers to finish strongly.
Dewbs is a popular return to the big time. Top after week 1, he did struggle a bit during the winter months but found a path to claim some prize money in 7th. Paul Hodges finished 8th and returns to the top level. He spent big chunks of time in the top 15 and was deservedly promoted.
Richard Carpanen clocks up his 2nd consecutive promotion although it took one hell of a finish in the last month. Richard Brown had a good start, a mediocre middle and a good finish and makes his 2nd promotion on the spin.
Luke Sloan finished bottom of the N&R Premier League last season but put that behind him to regain his PL status. The year round tanned Clarkie also cracked his 2nd successive promotion after taking a pink spot 20 weeks ago.
Jack Whalley is another who wins a second promotion on the bounce and joins all of his Gravity buddies in the N&R PL. Nick Kociuba was looking furiously over his shoulder the last few weeks but ended 34 points clear of the chasing pack led by Rory Freeman.
Mark Simmons likewise, but after being in the top 15 for the final 20 weeks deserved his spot back among the elite.
Rory Freeman, Nobby and Ben Kinsella all had hopes of making a late run into the pink zone but in the cold light of day were just not good enough. The gap between Rory and Mark ending at 24 points. Only Richard Carpanen and Luke Sloan were able to make the breakthrough during the last 6 weeks when there were lots and lots of points up for grabs.
Rory will fight another day whilst Nobby gets to spend another season in the Championship, incredibly with only a couple of places that don’t either go up or down, next season will be Nobbys’ 4th in a row!
Ben will be kicking himself the most because he made a great run into the pink zone after looking a relegation cert.
Of those relegated Emma Wells gave herself the best chance, but only has herself to blame for dropping into relegation contention in the first place. Emma was top in week 11 and then spent every week from week 6 to week 38 in the promotion zone, but will now end up in the Conference.
Jack Mann and Omar Dixon also blew it. We feel some pangs of sympathy for Greg Foulger who always starts so well. He also normally blows through his transfers in the first 6 weeks but inexplicably ended the season with some in the bank! We don’t think Greg has ever played as low as the 3rd N&R tier before.
Andrew Mitchell started well used all his transfers but still dropped down as did Rob Munden and Soozie Saveall who has now fallen from PL to Conference in one fell swoop.
Trevor Fairweather didn’t get his transfer strategy right and goes back to the Conference as does Chris Minchell and Ian Kennett, who even by his standards had a shocking season. Ian’s shit of the shovel start this season was constrained to just 2 weeks!
Alan Oakley did not leave the drop zone from week 1 like Soozie, Munden and Ray Legg, who we had come to expect more from, but probably now he is a broker, he has a lot more work to do!
Ray was in the PL last season and takes a further drop as does N&R FL Champion of just 3 years ago Chris Wright. Sad days.. but hopefully better fantasy ones ahead.
N&R Conference – Final Table
The £140 1st prize and a glittering N&R Conference trophy goes to Dan Duboux, who ended the season top of the table, and bounces back after being relegated last season.
It took Dan a couple of months to get going but by week 12 he had edged his way into the top 8 and didn’t look back hquickly hitting top by week 17. He slipped back a bit but stayed with the other challengers Mark Sterry, Ashley Blake and Harry McCarthy.
With the collapse of Harry’s title hopes, who had an incredible downturn in fortunes around week 17, it became a four man race and although Ken Cobbett and Ashley never got on top although stayed in contention, it was Mark who chased Dan all the way to the line, with eventually the gap being 19 points. Congratulations Dan.
Mark had an incredible 2nd half to the season. Floundering in the lower reaches through the early months, he made a couple of changes to his line up and gradually started to move up the table. At week 21 he appeared in the promotion group and a week later moved to 8th.
Then there was a steady run of form keeping him in the prize group before going 4th in week 28, and 3rd in week 30 before he got on the heels of the leaders. Mark’s rise reached a crescendo in week 40 when he went top and no one was going to bet against him finishing the job except for Dan of course, who took the lead back a week later to run out winner. Take nothing away from Mark though, it was storming 2nd half of the season and he too bounces back after relegation last season.
Ashley’s final week moved him a place higher to 3rd ending 42 weeks of continuous top 15 places. He was top during the early months but pretty owned 3rd and then 4th with the rise of Sterry, but after 12 weeks in 4th he nipped up a place to increase his final prize money in the final week.
Ken Cobbett was relegated last season but goes back to the N&R Championship after a season where he barely put a foot wrong. For all but 7 weeks Ken was in the top 15 but he too had a sterling second half of the campaign and never looked in danger of dropping out of the pink zone, but then around early April made his move into the prize money. Some late transfers pushed him further up the table finishing 4th.
John Button spent 41 weeks in the top 8 and had a great season. I am sure John will be disappointed not to have made more of an impact at the top but out of all the managers promoted he was one of the more deserving.
Likewise Joe Harding who never left the top 8, was top for 7 weeks but ran out of steam, but had enough points on the board to grab a prized spot in 6th. Spare a thought for Harry McCarthy, who may have Expected Toulouse but he was a winner for so much of the season but simply ran out of gas and in all honesty transfers. Harry clung on though ending in 7th place and gets a few quid for his efforts.
Millwall fan Steve Johnson makes it to the 2nd tier for the first time, and Johno played cat and mouse for a long time for the final prized place but kept Rob Smith at bay in the end by 24 points.
Rob makes it to the Championship for the first time as does Duncan Gorton, Oliver Robinson, Tony Martin and William Knowles.
Michael Stout had a very good season with 37 weeks in the top 15 and he moves back up a level as does Ian France, who not for the first time had to hire a caretaker manager during the season as he pushed himself upstairs to Director of Fantasy Football. So, well done to firefighter Jim Bristow, who deserves all of the credit for Francey’s promotion. Do yourself a favour Jim, like others before you, ditch the boss and go it alone.
Poor luck to Tom Mallindine who spent many weeks in the pink places, Megan McLeod actually didn’t but still finished well placed in 17th. Muddy had a great start and a decent middle but a poor end. A transfer or two Al perhaps next season??
Same can be said of Doyley, who was top for two weeks in October. Sheps had an encouraging first season and we hope to see him back, Glenn Francis was quick out of the blocks but failed to make changes. Paddy Fyson and Paul Collins did, just obviously the wrong ones. Okay, we agree, it ain’t that simple.
We are disappointed in Richard Richards. The old N&R FL timer should have done better after being top for two weeks in September and in the promotion picture at Christmas.
Aaron Barden after going down last season, did not make any real impact on the Conference, and nor really did Barry Paull, who has been around since the beginning but has been in the N&R FL doldrums in recent years.
Andy Dewar started on fire but it was quickly extinguished. Huw Thomas had a mid-season flourish but that was just about that, Rutts didn’t flourish at all, nor did Tony Murray, although despite some well deserved stick Neville White did actually improve as the season progressed but overall he must do better as must one of our other casualty friends James Bird.
One manager who must be looking at himself in the mirror is Paul Long, who had his worst ever N&R FL finish in 31st, and this after spending most of the first 2/3rds of the season in the top 15. Wasted transfers again Mutts?
And finally just one manager failed to reach 1,000 points for the season. Daniel Keehan was his name and he had a truly wretched 2nd half of the season. Mind you the first half wasn’t much better.